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Make it a PARTY! Invite friends and discuss these great conversation starters each week! 



LIFE: is this all there is?  (Thesis: Nothing but God will bring fulfillment--He is the SOURCE of ABUNDANT LIFE)

  1. What one thought stood out or most impressed you as you watched this video? Discuss.

  2. Fr. Bill describes sin as our “Wanting to be like God and in control of all of life.” (Basically take God’s place.) What are your thoughts on this? What one solution did God propose to repair our sinful tendencies—to bridge the gap between God and ourselves? How does this truth make you feel?

  3. Fr. Bill also talked about gifts Jesus give us through Baptism

    1. Membership into His family

    2. His indwelling

    3. Some guiding principles to live by

        Which of these gifts most resonates with you? Why?

  4. Define what the “Abundant Life” looks like. (perhaps a life full of the fruit of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness,         faithfulness and self-control” Would you say you are living the “Abundant Life?” Why or why not?

  5. If what Fr. Bill said is true, that Jesus is the Source of ABUNDANT LIFE, how would getting to know Him better affect your daily life?



HISTORY: just the facts (Thesis: The historical evidence of the Christian faith is factual and compelling --Jesus is the SOURCE of TRUTH.)

  1. What one thought stood out or most impressed you as you watched this video? Discuss.

  2. What speaks most clearly to you about who Jesus is? Reading about Him and what He said in the Gospels? Historical evidence? Witness of the martyrs and Saints throughout history? Church teachings, ie the Catechism? Or something else?

  3. If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the Way, the Truth and the Life, it should have an impact on your life… and your death. How much thought have you give to this teaching? What difference has believing or would believing make in your life?

  4. What have you seen in other people’s lives that gives witness to the truth of Christ’s claims?

  5. If what Fr. Alec Scott said was true, that the Bible is a reliable, highly respected, historic document and that the words of Jesus are TRUTH, how should this affect your daily life?



FORGIVENESS: the road to freedom (Thesis: Everyone needs to receive and extend forgiveness in order to experience peace. Jesus’ payment for our sin enables this--Jesus is the SOURCE of PEACE.)

  1. What one thought most stood out or impressed you as you watched this video? Discuss.

  2. No Jesus, no peace. Know Jesus. Know peace. In what ways does knowing Christ’s forgiveness help us to live peace daily?

  3. Share an experience of forgiveness –either forgiving or being forgiven—where you felt Christ at work in your life. OR an experience in which you need help in finding forgiveness.

  4. Fr. Mario Majano shared that he had drifted away from the Church, not “physically” but in other ways. Share ways you may have experienced drifting in your own life.

  5. If what Fr. Mario said is true, that Jesus and experiencing His forgiveness is the source of PEACE, what steps can you take this week to “rest” in His peace?



CONNECTION: prayer made easy. (Thesis: Prayer along with Scripture study, worship and the Holy Spirit-connect us to God the Father, He is our SOURCE of JOY.)

  1. What one thought most stood out or impressed you as you watched this video? Discuss.

  2. What is Msgr. Pope’s one rule for prayer? (Show up) What obstacles do you experience when you try to pray?

  3. Msgr. Pope describes prayer as “paying attention to God.” Share an experience you’ve had paying attention to God in your daily life or in prayer.

  4.  Close this session in prayer. Each person say ONE THING to God for which they are thankful for today. And this week--try the ACTS prayer at home: Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving and Supplication.

  5. If what Msgr. Pope said is true, that connecting to God through His word, in the Sacraments and in prayer are the source of JOY, how could this affect your daily routine this week?



LOVE: food for the soul (Thesis: The Church, the Body of Christ, is needed because through it the Sacraments are obtained and the community of believers encourage and strengthen one another on the spiritual journey. The Church is the SOURCE of LOVE needed by the world.)

  1. What one thought stood out or most impressed you as you watched this video? Discuss.

  2. Fr. Chris shared an experience about running a race and being encouraged by a group of Marines in order to finish strong. Tell about an experience of encouragement you may have had in the Church to help you along your race. 

  3. The Church states that the Lord showers us with grace through the Sacraments. How might the world, the church, your parish, your family or you be transformed by a deepened understanding, appreciation and embracement of the Sacraments?

  4.  Discuss Fr. Chris’ idea that states: when we make God’s love visible in concrete actions, we become the “sacraments” (means of God’s grace coming to earth) to others. How can we do this?

  5. If what Fr. Chris claims is true, that the Church is the Body of Christ and the source of LOVE, how could this affect your daily life?



HOPE: community in mission (Thesis: The Church is on mission through encounter, accompaniment, community and service --the Church is the SOURCE OF HOPE for the world.)

  1. What one thought stood out or most impressed you as you watched this video? Discuss.

  2. The Church is a community in mission, sent by Christ. This community of believers is a conduits of Christ’s love to the world. Can you give an example of a friend or neighbor who has been Christ to you?

  3. Fr. Smith said he needed adult reasons to “eat vegetables” as well as for his faith. Discuss adult reasons why you believe, (or don’t believe) not simply because “grew up that way.”

  4. Identify ways in your life that you could share the light of Christ to others.

  5. If what Fr. Pat Smith said is true, that the Church is the source of HOPE for the world, how could this affect your daily life? Make a plan as a group (or even as an individual) to be the difference—to share the HOPE the world needs.


And then...Have we got an idea for you!

Join us in the “Invite God to Dinner” initiative. We call them “Soul Food/Dinner Clubs.”

How do you do it?

  • Ask your priest or other speaker to come and have dinner with you explaining it is for the purpose of encouraging friends with the love of God and equipping them with Spiritual tools to deal with life. Choose a topic that will be of interest to your group, we suggest you keep the topics positive and Christ centered, marriage and family are always a draw, or if you are single think about topics that encourage you.

  • Pray and then make a list of people you think might want to come for dinner. This can be couples or singles but friends and acquaintances you think would be nice to encourage and share life and the love of God with- be bold!  (A snappy invite is always helpful- try evite or paperless post

  • Enjoy dinner together (either you provide or make it a pot luck or even go out together- but you will need a quiet/private room). During dessert have your speaker stand up and share for about 20 minutes on your topic.

  • After they speak, invite each person that would like to speak at the table to share something based on what the speaker said that was particularly interesting to them or one thing the speaker suggests to talk about. Keep it all positive and encouraging, such as: “Please say one thing you love about your spouse” or “How did you first meet and fall in love?” or “What are things your family does to encourage one another?” or “How do you get your kids to go to Church?” or "What is your love language?" (see below under #3) After about 15-20 minutes--

  • Have the speaker close with a prayer.

  • We do ours once a month, but you can do it once a season or what ever works for you. Starting around holidays is always nice as it gives an "excuse" to try it!

It is that simple! You can also do things as a group, like feed the homeless, Christmas Carol, help a neighbor in need or volunteer together at Catholic Charities or your Church.

It is a wonderful and positive way to build each other up in the Lord and create loving community and family ties with other families.  Here is a little encouragement from St. John Paul II:


"Now more than ever, in a world that is often without light and without the courage of noble ideals, people need the fresh, vital spirituality of the Gospel. Do not be afraid to go out on the streets and into public places, like the first Apostles who preached Christ and the Good News of salvation in the squares of cities, towns and villages. This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel (Cfr. Rom 1,16 ). It is the time to preach it from the rooftops (Cfr.Matth 10,27 ). Do not be afraid to break out of comfortable and routine modes of living, in order to take up the challenge of making Christ known in the modern "metropolis". It is you who must "go out into the byroads" ( Matth 22,9) and invite everyone you meet to the banquet which God has prepared for his people. The Gospel must not be kept hidden because of fear or indifference. It was never meant to be hidden away in private. It has to be put on a stand so that people may see its light and give praise to our heavenly Father." St. John Paul II,Denver, 1993


Here are some great ideas for your own dinner clubs:



We did it for FIVE Tuesday nights in a row. We invited a priest to speak for 15 minutes on the topic and then a lay couple to speak for 15 minutes on how they implemented the topic into their daily lives.

We chose:

"Joy"-How to joyfully support each other even if you are dealing with differences in faith

"Hope"- How to find Hope for any situation through prayer and good medicine-- even if dealing with addiction issues.

"Faith"- How to keep your faith and marraige strong, even if your child has special needs.

"Love"- How to keep the home fires burning, even if you travel a great deal for work.

"Peace"- How to maintain peace at all times, even if your kids choose a path that is different from yours.

These were all very well received. We had great food with a theme for each night's pot-luck with a prize of a basket full of produce from a local farmer's market to a "winner" who brought a dish to contribute.

We chose: A Fried Chicken-picnic dinner night with sides, Chicken Marbella with salads, a chili cook-off, an exotic Taco-Tuesday night, and a PEACE of pie night (savory and sweets welcomed). 


Or try any of these:

Spring Dinner: The Road less traveled- Living out your faith in a faithless world.

Summer Supper: Living an Authentic Life in an Artificial world

Fall into Faith:  How to keep your cool when things heat up!

Christmas Dinner: “Selflessness Enters the World” or “Peace- How to get it and keep it all year”

Valentine’s Dinner: True Love- Tips for a Happy Marriage

Garden Supper: Tips on Tending our Offshoots, how to love and guide our kids even when things get thorny

Beach Lobster Dinner: “Sailing Through Life- How to Manage Even the Roughest Seas”


Summer Patio BBQ Dinner: Food for Your Soul and a Spark of Life with Fr._____.


Advent Party: Fondue with the Fathers!


Chinese New Year and take out party: Illuminations and Inspirations for the New Year


“How to raise kids with Integrity”

“How to Save a Marriage- Even a Good One”
“How to get your wife to treat you like a King…” (The answer: you must first treat her like a Queen!)
“The 10 Commandments of a Happy Marriage” (see notes below)
“How to create healthy boundaries in a spaghetti world”

And here are the notes from our last dinner entitled “The 10 Commandments for a Happy Marriage” by Fr. John Hopkins. Perhaps share these with your priest and see about creating your own Dinner Club.  You never know who’s life you will touch by the simple sharing of a meal and creating an encouraging atmosphere of love.



God bless your efforts! And let us know how it goes, we will post good ideas and pictures!


The Ten Commandments for a Happy Marriage


1. Learn the true meaning of forgiveness.

We need to learn how to truly forgive and not to hold things in our heart unresolved. Throwing things in each other’s faces every time you get mad is very unhealthy. Once you have forgiven the other you no longer have a right to bring it up again. Learn how to really forgive or come to grips with the hurt.  Learn how to ask for forgiveness. Pride makes us see the other as always having the real fault. It is easy to blame but that is not being honest and is a great obstacle to love. Learn the phrase, “I need to ask you to forgive me for everything that was my fault in the argument.” You don’t have to take all the blame but you do need to recognize your part and ask for forgiveness.


2. Forget your dreams of a perfect marriage and work at achieving a good marriage.

Pride takes over and we begin to try to control everything by making the other conform to my way of doing things (which is always the best way).  We need to accept others as they are and this includes their shortcomings.  We need to be patient with their defects and appreciate the good qualities that your spouse possesses.  It all starts with accepting ourselves.


3.  Discover the particular needs of your spouse and try to satisfy them.

We all have needs. The more selfish we are the more that we look to my own needs instead of those of my spouse. Love is self-donation, it is self giving. How aware am I of the needs of my spouse. How open am I to giving to my spouse without looking for something in return.  Real charity is service, humble service, like Christ who washed the feet of his apostles. If you are looking for a 50-50 split you are going to lose. That is not pure love.  These needs have to be recognized and appreciated. Not about what it is about.


We all are different. 5 languages of love, Gary Chapman.

1.Words of Affirmation

2. Quality time

3. Receiving Gifts

4. Acts of service

5. Physical touch


4.Show praise and appreciation rather than look for it. Praise your spouse in front of others.

The Golden rule. We need to be always loyal.  In our family the quickest way of getting

into a fight with one of us would be to pick on someone within our family. Build each

other up in front of others.  Never cut the other one down in front of someone else

(especially your kids!!!!)  Never allow gossip to enter into your home and never let it

leave your home (Did you know what Bill did?). My Dad would always brag about

being married to the best wife in the world.


We recognize 100% of what we do for others but only recognize 30 % of what the other is doing for us. Dr John Gottman.   If you do not take time to recognize and appreciate you will never fall back into love. We can only love that which we appreciate and the more we appreciate the more we will love.  The more we take for granted the less we truly love.


5. Forget your desire to control and dominate, to be king of the home.

Marriage is all about mutual respect and mutual service. Men do need to the head of the household but what does that mean.  It means that they are the ones who need to set the example for being unselfish and serving the other. If you are look to serve your queen there is little time to become a despot. Service is king.   Who are you for the other person: best friend, co-parent, partners, lovers….  Don’t turn into each other's parents…. When you try to control you stop trusting and respecting.    RESPECT is everything. Gottman on Respect or. disdain.  The more we have to control the more insecure we are.



6. Greet your spouse always with affection instead of complaints and demands.

Need many times to stop at a chapel on the way home to DETOX.  Remember that there is nothing more important for you to do during the whole day than to make your spouse feel love when they walk in the door.  Two or three minutes of full attention and then figure out a way of having some “couch time” every night with each other.


7. Abandon all hope of changing your spouse through nagging or complaining.

The only thing nagging does is reinforce bad attitudes and help create resentment and tension in the battle of wills.  But if we really believe in the goodness and potential of our spouse then we can help them believe in themselves.  We get much more with honey than we do with the sword.  Bring out the best in each other. Need for positive reinforcement and continuous self -giving. Your job is to build each other up.



8. Remember the importance of unimportant things.

Small details do matter.  They show where our heart and minds are.   Things such as listening with attention when I’m about to pass out to doing the dishes for no reason at all.  Flowers can be nice too. Never assume that the other person will understand why we don’t do something.


9. Be aware that moods change and that is normal.

Accepting the other person as they are and where they are.  Too many times whenever the other person is in a bad mood we take it personally.  That’s crazy! We need to recognize when the other person is down and do everything we can do to help. (At times that means just getting out of the way.)


10.  Pray together

That is the glue that unites you.  Don’t force the other person.  Remember we all are on different parts of our journey and God has a different pace for each of us.  But it is really good if you both agree to do something together on  a daily basis.






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